Apr 4, 2010

Childhood hallucinations

When I was a kid I believed in Santa in part because everyone I knew seemed to believe in Santa, but also because I had physical proof. Not only did Santa always drink the milk and eat the cookies we left for him, he also left me a note. This was in floral, cursive writing I now recognize as my dad's.

My proof of the tooth fairy mostly involved the fact that she left me stuff, and this was true of my proof of the house fairy as well. When I was a kid I always spent August sharing a room with three of my cousins, and the house fairy, an ingenious concept of my grandmother's, would leave us presents when we cleaned up and made our beds and did stuff like that. The fact that the house fairy's aims so exactly matched up with the aims of the adults in the house never led me to question her status as an actual supernatural fairy whose only interest in life was checking to see if my cousins and I had indeed made our beds. But last year, while cleaning out my grandmother's house, my cousins and I discovered her stash of unused house fairy gifts. As for the tooth fairy, my mom just told me she actually kept all those little baby teeth of mine I left under my pillow, and has them in her room somewhere. Until recently, it turns out, they were stored with my grandmother's dentures.

My proof of the Easter bunny involved not only the basket I always got, but also the little bunny prints she left all over the house while she went around hiding chocolate eggs in unexpected places. I now recognize these as the unique mark of my mother's three middle fingers when dipped in baby powder. There was something else too, though, because one Easter afternoon I was hunting for eggs in someone's backyard when I happened to look out towards the street and see the Easter bunny hopping down the street. Really. I remember this vividly. A life-size bunny was hopping down the street, not even walking down the street the way a man in a bunny suit would if he were, say, on his way to some Easter egg hunt where the parents had hired him to make for a memorable Easter for their kids. The bunny, appropriately, was carrying a basket.

All my fantasies of these supernatural gift-bringing creatures have dissolved, but I never have quite wrapped my head around what might have been going on with that last one.


  1. Santa's not real?!
    I loved this post, really well written and such a cute memory that I think we can all relate to. I love the image of the giant bunny haha, I'm sure the only explanation is that whilst Santa and the tooth fairy may have been our parents' constructions, the Easter bunny was/is real!

  2. Not to dissolution you further, but the ingenious idea of the house fairy was you mother's.

  3. Really?! Well, anonymous, I guess credit should go where it's due.